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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens
March 16, 1998
Website of the Week
Daily Local News
August 13, 1997
A beautiful part of southeastern Pennsylvania
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Archived Home Pages - April thru June 2008
PMYC Football Sign-up Schedule - The Phoenixville Marian Youth Club, which sponsors football, field hockey, lacrosse and basketball youth sports, has posted their registration dates and related information for the 2008 football programs. PMYC uses Charlestown Park for their activities. Click here for details. Check our Kids Recreation page ("Kids Stuff" button in green button panel) for other activities for your children in the Charlestown Township area.
Fireworks Permits (from Fred Alston) - Fireworks may be displayed by permit only within Charlestown Township. Permits are available from the Township Office.
Eagle at Charlestown Park - This is Bob Schafer's photo of a bald eagle photographed at Charlestown Park. As Bob put it, "While on our daily walk at Charlestown Park on Saturday morning (June 14), my girlfriend and I had quite a treat! We saw a large bird off in the distance and luckily I had a camera with me and ended up with a nice (if distant) picture of the bird which turned out to be a Bald Eagle!" A number of people have reported sightings of bald eagles in the general vicinity of Pickering Creek at the north end of our township and in Schuylkill Township.
Dogs Return - Mitzi and Beau have returned to Michael Bowell's home on Bodine Road.
"Officials: New Route 202 timetable not good enough" by Jim Callahan in today's Daily Local News reports on efforts to expedite the widening of Rt. 202. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Dogs Missing (from Michael Bowell) -
At about 2:30 pm this afternoon, June 21st, Two of my Schnauzers have taken the liberty to roam the neighborhood (again). They are Mitzi, a female black giant schnauzer, 19 months old and Beau, an eleven year old salt and pepper miniature schnauzer. Both are friendly. Please let me know if anyone spots them. I am in the process of getting an electric fence to avoid this in the future. Thanks so much, Michael Bowell 2148 Bodine Rd. Malvern firstname.lastname@example.org or 484.238.7412
"Keeping the stream clear" by Walter F. Naedele in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on state level action in the works to better protect the Pickering Creek watershed, in which much of Charlestown Township lies. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Eagle Sighting - Bob Schafer saw a bald eagle while walking at Charlestown Park Saturday morning. I hope to receive and post a "distant" photo he took. Other sightings were reported a few years ago from along the Pickering Creek and I am always hoping someone will get photos.
Help the Willigs - Hugh and Sally Willig, whose home burned to the ground yesterday (see newspaper article link below), are very active and unselfish members of the Charlestown community. Hugh was re-elected last year to another term on our Board of Supervisors. Katrina Loftus, who lives on Sycamore Lane near the Willigs, has set up an account to which donations can be sent to the Willig family. This is a great opportunity for our community to pull together and help friends who have suffered a devastating blow. Katrina says...
Dear friends and neighbors of Hugh and Sally Willig:
"Fire's 'head start' hollows out home" by Dennis J. Wright in today's The Phoenix reports on the fire that swept the home of Hugh and Sally Willig Tuesday morning. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
As you probably know, the Willig family home burned down on Tuesday morning, June 17th. Our hearts go out to them as they are well respected folks in Charlestown Township. In an effort to help them out we have opened an account at Citizens Bank in the Maplelawn shopping center (near Genuardis) to accept donations for the family. Checks can be made payable to:
Willig Family Donations
PMB # 116
518 Kimberton Rd.
Phoenixville, PA 19460-4737
If you have questions, feel free to call Katrina at 610-933-0686.
The Official Minutes of the May 5, 2008 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
The Official Minutes of the May 13, 2008 meeting of the Planning Commission have been posted.
Art Show Photos - A single page of photos and text provides a look at the "Scenes of Charlestown" Art Show held last Sunday at the Elementary School. The photos include each of the three student artists with their art. This page is permanently linked from our Photo Albums page, the Charlestown Historical Society's page and directly by clicking here. (Note: If you are using a dial-up connection, it may take a minute for the page to load.)
Art Show a Big Success -
They came from as far away as Pottstown, Wayne and Berwyn, they were carrying young children or using walkers and wheel-chairs, they knew Charlestown well or they had previously seen very little of our community, and to a person they thought it was "wonderful", "lovely", "a treasure", "great", "spectacular", "excellent", "fantastic", "should be done again" and more as recorded on the comment sheet. Visitors to the show enjoyed views of our beautiful community they had not imagined, scenes that have long since disappeared and a look at their own neighborhood as seen through the eyes of talented artists. Old friends who had not seen each other for many years were catching up on old times and neighbors who had never met before were getting to know each other while seeing a whole new perspective on their township. A very big Thank You is due the owners of the art who offered to share their treasurers for a day and to the group from the Charlestown Historical Society who worked hard to bring this show to all who attended. We'll have a follow-up photo section posted on this site within a day or two.
"Dinniman, 5 townships seek Pickering Creek upgrade" by Danielle Lynch in today's The Phoenix reports on the efforts to raise the classification of the Pickering Creek in our area from "high quality" to "exceptional-value" water. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Great Valley school officials debate mission of committees for next year" by Danielle Lynch in today's The Phoenix reports on committees needed for the next school year. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Charlestown Historians Organize Art Show" by Brittany Lodge in yesterday's The Phoenix reports on tomorrow's "Scenes of Charlestown" Art Show (exhibition) from 10 am to 4 pm at the AIR CONDITIONED Charlestown Elementary School. 115 paintings depicting past and present scenes of our township by 29 artists will be on display. We hope to see you there. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Scenes of Charlestown Art Show Sunday
Do you know where Aldham is? Do you know it used to be a thriving little community within our township? Aldham is the area around the junction of State Road (Rt. 29) and Union Hill Road. In earlier days it included a train station, post office, general store, and businesses, including the Reese Paper Mill. This painting of the latter will be one of over 110 paintings being exhibited from 10 am to 4 pm at Sunday's "Scenes of Charlestown" Art Show at the Charlestown Elementary School. Please join us. It's brought to you by the Charlestown Historical Society and your friends and neighbors who own the paintings. And it's FREE!
"Great Valley names Wilt as new assistant superintendent" by Danielle Lynch in yesterday's The Phoenix reports on the Great Valley School Board's appointment of Melody Wilt to be the new assistant superintendent of the district. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Preliminary Agenda for the June 10 meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted.
Flag Raising Ceremony (from Wendy Leland) -
You are cordially invited to attend a Flag Raising Ceremony at 11:00 am at the Old Charlestown Cemetery on Flag Day, Saturday, June 14, 2008
Junior Girl Scout Troop 41492 Hosting
RSVP to Wendy Leland 610-983-9032
Congratulations Fred Alston (from Linda Csete) -
Charlestown Township Fire Marshal Fred Alston was honored at the East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Association's annual dinner on May 31st as Fire Police Person of the Year and received a plaque in recognition of this honor by the Pennsylvania Senate. On this same occasion, Mr. Alston was recognized with a 25 year service award by the East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Association. Charlestown Township is extremely fortunate to have someone of Fred's experience and dedication serving its citizens.
Scenes of Charlesown Art Show this Sunday -
A FREE one-of-a-kind art show will be held this Sunday June 8th at the Charlestown Elementary School from 10 am to 4 pm. Sponsored by the Charlestown Historical Society, the show exhibits paintings removed from the walls of area residents and loaned for the day to share with our community. Over 100 paintings depicting scenes of Charlestown will be exhibited, some recent and others showing views that have changed radically since they were painted. (The image above was painted circa 1940 from Charlestown Road facing Phoenixville from the current location of the playschool.) A description and location code is indicated with each painting, and large maps of the Township will show where each scene was painted. A few of the paintings will be for sale, but the vast majority will be returned to their homes after the show, perhaps never to be seen by the general public again. Please come and enjoy this very special event. Please park in the large west parking lot and enter through the main entrance of the school.
Space Shuttle Visible (from Jerry Moore) -
The Space Shuttle is currently attached to the International Space Station and should be very visible to the unaided eye over Charlestown over the next week or so. The weather looks pretty iffy but hopefully at least one pass will be visible. The trick is that shortly after dusk the vehicles will be high enough to still be in sunlight but our sky will be dark enough to see them. Sometimes the vehicles go into the earth s shadow during the pass and they disappear. Click here to get the pass information and here to get more information on this mission.
"Malvern rider takes home final prize from Devon" by Marcella Peyre-Ferry in today's The Phoenix reports on Charlestown Township resident John Muldoon on Hidden Agenda took the final championship of the 11 day Devon Horse Show event. Muldoon's Reinbow's End Farm on Green Lane Road was recently put under an open space easement as part of the protected land in Charlestown Township. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"11 sites nominated for possible ballpark Among the places listed are the Wyeth-Ayerst plot and a spot in the Atwater Business Campus." by Don Beideman in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the list of possible sites for a 4,000 to 5,000 seat baseball stadium in the county submitted to Chester County Stadium Project Task Force. The Atwater Business Campus site would be in East Whiteland Township, near Charlestown Township. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Cycling Event will pass through Charlestown (from Wendy Sheeran) - The French Creek Iron Tour is a cycling event that raises money for open space, and it will be held Sunday, June 22nd and portions of the various tours (20 to 100 miles) pass through our Township. For more information and to sign-up to participate, go to http://www.irontour.org/.
The Preliminary Agenda for the June 2 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
Julie Compton Novel (from Julie Compton) -
Julie Compton was a Charlestown resident from 1998 to 2003, living in Charlestown Hunt with her children attending Charlestown Elementary. Julie is pleased to announce the US release of her novel, TELL NO LIES (St. Martin's Minotaur). A hybrid legal thriller (part Scott Turow, part Jodi Picoult), Kirkus Reviews gave TELL NO LIES a starred review and said "Compton's debut is a taut, tense cautionary tale complete with courtroom drama and a surprise ending."
On Sunday afternoon, June 8th at 1:00 p.m., Julie will be taking part in a group mystery author event at Time, 1315 Sansome Street, one of Philly's newest restaurants (sponsored by Robin's Bookstore). Brunch will served at 1:00, followed by a discussion and Q and A at 2:00 p.m. with various local authors (such as Cordelia Frances Biddle, D.H. Dublin, Merry Jones, William Lashner, Richard Sand, Duane Swierczynski, Charles Todd, and others). Reserve your spot now by emailing email@example.com. Julie will also be signing books at the Chester County Book & Music Company in West Chester on Tuesday night, June 10th at 7:30 p.m. Stop by and sample a piece of Julie's St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake (St. Louis is the setting for TELL NO LIES). For more information, please visit www.julie-compton.com.
Great Valley Citizens Forum (from Sue Staas) -
Has Our (State) Government Reformed?05/25/08
Is It Ethical? Transparent? Responsive To Citizens?
Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 7:30 PM
Tredyffrin Township Municipal Building
11 Duportail Road, Berwyn
Another in our series of Citizens Forums designed to inform us about the pressing issues of our times and to encourage lively discussion.
Our speakers are: State Representative Carole Rubley and Tim Potts, co-founder and President of Democracy Rising PA and one of the organizers of the 2006 Pennsylvania legislative pay raise revolt. Discussion will be moderated by Russ Bellavance, Social Studies Instructor at Great Valley High School. It is important to remember that our State Legislators will be up for election in November. With that in mind, the question posed by this forum is timely and important.
Light refreshments will be served. Donations to help offset the costs are welcome. Join us for a stimulating evening!
Stormwater Mgt (from Linda Csete) - An additional document titled "A Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater Management" (1.5mb pdf) has been added to our Stormwater Management page. This page is permanently linked from our Index to Gov't Info page.
"Great Valley board holds forum on strategic plan" by Danielle Lynch in the weekend The Phoenix reports on last Thursday's meetings of the Great Valley School District's Board with the public. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Stadium plan makes progress" by G. E. Lawrence in this weekend's The Phoenix reports on the latest meeting of the volunteer Stadium Committee in Phoenixville to set in motion a variety of plans to develop and back the proposal to locate a multi-use stadium and minor league baseball team in Phoenixville. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Phoenixville group studies a rail option" by Don Beideman in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the latest planning by Citizens for the Train, a committee of the Phoenixville Community Development Corporation, whose goal is to promote a Phoenixville-Paoli passenger rail link using the Norfolk Southern rail line through Charlestown. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Barbara Grant - Artist -
The State Museum of Pennsylvania will be exhibiting a large figurative painting by Charlestown resident Barbara Grant from their permanent collection titled "Garden Gate". The painting appears in the current exhibition "Big. Bold. Beautiful.". Barbara will also be exhibiting a large figurative painting titled "Out of the Box" at the annual "Juried Alumni Show" at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from June 27 to July 28, 2008. Barbara will also be exhibiting a painting of a Charlestown scene at our upcoming Scenes of Charlestown show on June 8 at Charlestown Elementary School. For more on Barbara Grant, see her page on our site by clicking here.
Dog Found - The Lost Dog reported yesterday has returned home.
The Official Minutes of the April 7, 2008 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
Gypsy Moths -
(This is a reply from Wendy McClean to yesterday's post.)
They are NOT Gypsy moths. They are tent caterpillars. Gypsy moth caterpillars are more solitary and do not live in those big nasty looking masses of white stuff. The best thing to do about the tent caterpillars is to remove them and destroy the nest. Burning them works just fine. It is NOT a good idea to use pesticides because the chemicals will harm the few birds that are inclined to eat the nasty things. They come in cycles - last year was very bad north of here so it looks like we may be in for a bad year. Unless a tree is really covered, it will survive an occasional attack of tent caterpillars. It is a good idea to destroy as many as possible, but not with poisons. They do have some natural enemies and poison will kill them as well. They prefer trees with sweet sap - apples, cherries, crabapples, etc.
05/15/08 (10:45 am)
Lost Dog (from Maryann Loose) -
Our dog, a 2 year old Bouvier was last seen this morning @ our property in the Whitehorse neighborhood. She escaped our property as she had just come home from a walk, and only has her walking harness on, rather than her electronic collar with name tags. She is medium height and dark (black-ish) coat. Ears are not cropped. Tail is docked. (05/15/08 - The dog has returned home.)
Gypsy Moths? (from Jennifer Guinan) -
I live on Hollow Road near the Great Valley Nature Center. Yesterday, I removed a mass of what I think are gypsy moth caterpillars from a tree in our woods . I've notice another couple of masses in other wooded areas along Hollow Rd. Is there someone out there who can offer some expertise as to: are these indeed gypsy moths and is our area at risk? Should all these masses be removed immediately if possible? (Click here to send a comment.)
The Official Minutes of the April 8, 2008 meeting of the Planning Commission have been posted.
"Great Valley panel gets fields update" by Danielle Lynch in today's The Phoenix reports on a new softball field and other plans for the GVSD high school and middle school complex. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Alix Coleman Featured - Charlestown resident Alix Coleman is the featured photographer for the annual equestrian issue of County Lines magazine. Alix captured the cover photo as well as Devon Horse Show photos in the photo essay "Alix Coleman's Devon".
"Great Valley budget update: Taxes up 2.75%" by Danielle Lynch in today's The Phoenix reports on the 2008-2009 preliminary budget adopted recently by the Great Valley School Board. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
05/13/08 (2:15 pm)
FREE Orpheus Club Concert Tickets Available -
Sorry for the short notice, but due to a family emergency, we have four tickets available FREE to this wonderful concert.
The Orpheus Club of Philadelphia
One hundred and thirty-sixth season
Third Private Concert
Wednesday Evening May 14, at 8:30
Kimmel Center, Verizon Hall
Evening dress is required
The evening show is an anthology of the best-loved tunes from shows performed over the years and promises to be a really great fun evening. Please call us if you can take advantage of this opportunity for a performance that is not open to the public.
Jim & Ann McGinty
Possible Postponement of Rt. 202 Widening (forwarded by Fred Alston) -
The U.S. Route 202, Section 300 reconstruction and widening project will not start mainline construction for at least two and a half years. The only way that this could change is if the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and PennDOT are convinced that moving work forward is of critical importance to the economy of Chester County, the five-county region and the Commonwealth. Click here for more information and contacts to which you may send your comments on the planned delay. Comments should be sent prior to a public meeting this Wednesday, March 14.
Traffic Comment - Ganesh Kumar from Charlestown Oaks has also commented on problems on Yellow Springs Road near Phoenixville Pike. Ganesh's comments are posted in our Traffic Forum available by clicking the "Traffic Forum" icon at the top of the Home page or directly by clicking here.
Great Valley Ice Hockey Club (from Jim Mathias) -
The Great Valley Ice Hockey Club is seeking student athletes of all ages (Elementary School through High School) for the 2008 - 2009 Season.
"Great Valley wins Envirothon" by Anne Pickering in the weekend The Phoenix reports on the victory by the team from Great Valley High School in the county's Envirothon competition at Hibernia County Park. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Any player from public or private schools residing in the Great Valley School District is eligible to participate.
Do not be concerned if you have no previous ice hockey experience; our experienced coaching staff will teach you the fundamentals of the game to maximize your enjoyment.
Don't miss out on the FUN and EXCITEMENT! For more information, call:
(Elementary/Middle School): CALL TODAY - 610-329-5214
(High School): CALL TODAY - 484-868-0658
(Girls): CALL TODAY - 610-731-9402
Student Seeking Summer Employment - Lila Kling is the fourth student to post her summer employment availability (for a nanny position) on our Students Seeking Summer Employment page.
"Farmers' Market opens Saturday" by Dennis J. Wright in today's The Phoenix reports on the opening of the 7th season of the market that features locally grown food, including that of the Charlestown Cooperative Farm. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Student Seeking Summer Employment - Kristie McLaughlin has added her information to our Students Seeking Summer Employment page. Kristie is offering her services as a 'cello instructor.
Student Seeking Summer Employment - Steve Pomanti has added his information to our Students Seeking Summer Employment page.
Charlestown Elementary Fair - We attended the Spring Fair yesterday with two of our granddaughters and had a great time. Here are some photos of the event, starting with an overview of some of the activities.
The Cow Milking Contest, with one child on each side racing to fill his or her bucket first, consistently had one of the longest waiting lines at the fair.
School Principal Christopher Pickell was the "closer" in the very popular "Dunk the Teacher" activity. Here he is about to get wet for the first time.
Mr. Pickell was soaked many times, but always came back for more. Many other contests and events plus plant and book sales and fine food and dancing rounded out the fair.
Second Spring Meeting - The Charlestown Historical Society will meet next Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 7:30 pm in the Charlestown Elementary School cafeteria. Parking is between the school and the bus garage. Please use door #5 to enter the building and follow the CHS signs to the meeting. The speaker for the meeting will be Bob Brown who is a post office history buff and will speak on that subject. Note that Charlestown has had several different post offices over the years, including in the Village and on State Road in Aldham. Light refreshments will be served, and all are invited to attend.
Rapp House Spring Work-Party - The annual spring work-party to give the historic property a "spring cleaning" will be this Saturday, May 3, 2008 (rain date May 10). Lunch will be provided. Come and enjoy a day of seeing other CHS members and enjoy volunteering at a truly fascinating, historic property. If you have any questions, contact society president John Pittock by clicking here.
Traffic Comment - Gene Mitchell on Valley Hill Road has also commented on problems turning onto Rt. 401. Gene's comments are posted in our Traffic Forum available by clicking the "Traffic Forum" icon at the top of the Home page or directly by clicking here.
"School officials explain their role" by Danielle Lynch in today's Daily Local News reports on the Great Valley School Board's Community Engagement Committee's recent public meeting. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"'Green Line' steams ahead" by G. E. Lawrence in today's The Phoenix reports on last night's meeting of the "Citizens for the Train", a group investigating the feasibility of a light rail commuter rail service using the old Norfolk Southern track bed from Phoenixville to Devault. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Seeking Rhubarb Plants - A resident who has had no luck starting rhubarb from local nurseries since moving to Charlestown is looking for anyone with established rhubarb plants that she could obtain. She is willing to come to dig, divide and purchase the plants. Please contact me if you have established rhubarb plants and can help this resident.
The Preliminary Agenda for the May 5 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
ENVIROFEST (from Aliena Gerhard) - The 2008 Green Valleys Association "Envirofest - Solutions for Sustainable Living" event will be held this Saturday, May 3rd, at the Association's 197 acre Welkinweir estate on Prizer Road, off of Route 100 near Pughtown Road. This is a fantastic event with extensive corporate sponsorship that facilitates all kinds of activities aimed at increasing awareness of environmental issues and solutions through clinics, information booths, hands-on fun learning for kids, and many other features. Click here for a comprehensive description of all of the day's activities.
Traffic Comment- Greg Nesspor has taken a somewhat different view of Charlestown Township's traffic issues than most who have sent in comments. See Greg's comments on our Traffic Forum available by clicking the "Traffic Forum" icon at the top of the Home page or directly by clicking here.
Two Dogs Found!- I have a white and tan bulldog and a brown large dog - looks like a ridgeback but no ridge - at my house. It's 11:00 am, Tuesday. Call 610 999-5359.
Road Closures (from Fred Alston) - The road closure previously posted here has been cancelled.
Student Seeking Summer Employment - I have posted our first student seeking employment on our Seeking Summer Employment page.
Two articles (with photos) are posted in The Phoenix reporting on the fire in a residence on Eastwick Drive Wednesday night.
Traffic Comment - Nancy Moffitt on Valley Hill Road has commented on problems turning onto Rt. 401 and other matters associated with traffic through her area. Nancy's comments are posted in our Traffic Forum available by clicking the "Traffic Forum" icon at the top of the Home page or directly by clicking here.
- "Fire in Charlestown" in yesterday's The Phoenix reports on a fire in a three-story home on Eastwick Drive. The article, with photo, is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
- "Family avoids injury from fire" by Dennis Wright in today's The Phoenix provides more detailed coverage of the fire. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Traffic Comment - Kelly O'Brien has commented on the problems with traffic on Hollow Rd. and other roads in our township. Kelly's comments are posted in our Traffic Forum available by clicking the "Traffic Forum" icon above or here.
Lyme Disease and Skin Cancer Program (from Debbie Kuhn) -
Twin Valleys Garden Club invites gardeners or anyone with an interest in gardening to be a guest at their May meeting (Wednesday, May 14th at 12:30) for a special program about Lyme Disease and Skin cancer.
If you spend time outside during the warm weather you are susceptible to lyme disease as well as sun damage. To Your Health will be presented by Kati Kuffner, MPH, a public Health Educator for the Chester County Health Department who will present an educational program about how lyme disease is transmitted, diagnosed, or sometimes misdiagnosed, as well as provide information about skin cancer, signs of the disease, treatment and prevention. There will be time at the end of Ms. Kuffner's program for questions from the audience.
You are also invited to tour our hostess' gardens and to view color harmony flower arrangements and an exhibit of Irises from Twin Valleys Garden Club members' gardens. Light refreshments will be served.
The program is offered free, compliments of the club as a community outreach service. Seating is limited. If you are interested in attending this program please contact Debbie Kuhn at 610-935-9337 or firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and to get directions by May 9.
Spring Concert (from Nancy Pittock) -
The St. John's Choir and Friends will present their 18th Annual Spring Concert Sunday May 4 at 7:00 PM at the church at 355 St. Johns Circle in Phoenixville. The program includes traditional arrangements and contemporary interpretations of African American Spirituals as well as selections from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel and South Pacific.
"Charlestown passes EIT for open space" by G.E. Lawrence in yesterday's The Phoenix reports on the passage of the open space referendum by voters in Tuesday's primary election. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Election Results - With 50% of Charlestown registered voters casting their ballots yesterday, the Open Space Referendum passed with 77% voting Yes and 23% voting No. Complete results for all races are available at the Chester County web site.
Charlestown results - click here.
Chester County results - click here.
Open Space Referendum - The following is the last in the current series of "articles" on Open Space leading up to tomorrow's primary election which includes the Open Space Referendum on all ballots.
Who Am I? (6th in a series on Open Space) -
Who am I? I am a resident of Charlestown Township. I have lived here for over 20 years. Our road along with all the roads in Charlestown are gorgeous. When you leave our township, you can see when you exit township limits- it hits you. The density hits you, driveway after driveway, house after house. Just drive down the roads in our Township. On my side of the street, there are only 6 driveways in one entire mile.
Who am I? I am a developer. I looked at the possibility of working with investors to develop a huge stretch of land between two of our most scenic roads. Instead, I decided to preserve my own land and not to develop because I appreciate how nice it looks now and I don't want to see it change. It reminds me of yesteryear and how beautiful it was then.
Who am I? I am a father. I have raised my family here since 1988. There is no better place in the world to raise your kids. No words can describe how beautiful it is here.
Why should we vote YES on Tuesday? Our Supervisors are increasing the Earned Income Tax .5% for a total tax of 1%. Their decision has nothing to do with the vote. However, on Tuesday, residents in Charlestown Township will be given a once in a lifetime opportunity. We will be given the opportunity: to ensure that our beautiful township remains an oasis among asphalt, to keep our school taxes low, to raise the value of our properties, to keep the water we drink clean, to keep working farms working, to preserve open spaces for our children to play in. We will be given the opportunity to control where our taxes go, to ensure our money goes to preserve our quality of life.
A "No" vote will not change the fact that the Supervisors are increasing our EIT to 1%. It will not stop the tax. Our choice is clear and simple. Voting YES insures the tax will be used strictly for open space preservation. Simply put, voting YES preserves the place we live and raise our children.
Who am I? My name is George Bullard, and I am proud to vote YES on Tuesday to the Charlestown Township Open Space EIT referendum.
Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA
"Municipal referendums in front of Charlestown, Malvern voters" by Jonathan Mattise in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the Charlestown open space referendum as well as a referendum in the borough of Malvern. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Updated Zoning Ordinance Posted (from Linda Csete) - The Zoning Ordinance for Charlestown Township (242 page text portion) has been updated to reflect amendments through April 7, 2008, including the TND ordinance. The ordinance, a 2.4 mb PDF file, is available via links in our Index to Gov't Info page or directly by clicking here.
The Real Cost of Development (4th in a series on Open Space) -
An article reviewing the open space issues in neighboring Schuylkill Township as well as studies by Penn State and the Brandywine Conservancy address the ongoing cost to tax payers of conversion of open space to developments. The article is available here.
The Thompson Family Farm
(5th in a series on Open Space) -
The Thompson Family Farm sits on the line between Charlestown and Schuylkill Townships. The family has lived on this beautiful farm, consisting of nearly 400 acres for over 50 years, and we benefit daily from its beautiful views. Last year, a preliminary development plan was presented to both Charlestown and Schuylkill Townships that, if approved, could result in 150 new houses being built on the land. Working with Schuylkill Township, the Charlestown Supervisors have an opportunity to save a this farm and reduce the number of houses to be built from 150 to 23. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
VOTE YES on APRIL 22nd !
The Conservation of Valhalla Farm (3rd in a series on Open Space) -
(By Marcia Solda)
Since we moved here in 1982, I was influenced by Eleanor Morris of the French and Pickering Conservation Trust, and her vision of preserving the land; also, my neighbor, and dear friend, Vincent Kling, had the same philosophy; those two instilled in me a love and respect for the land; It became our desire to share this opportunity with future generations-- to appreciate the beauty that we have been blessed with, and at the same time, has allowed us enormous pleasure in raising our young thoroughbred foals each spring! The thought of "houses" standing on the land which, once was home to so many beautiful horses, with so many wonderful memories, was too upsetting, and we were very fortunate that the township helped us to preserve this unique piece of "utopia",and perpetuate our "dreams" forever!
The sign at Valhalla Farm shown in the photo above reads "Grant funds for preservation of this farm provided by the Preservation Partnership Program, Chester County Board of Commissioners: Carol Aichele, Donald A. Mancini, Patrick O'Donnell"
"Showing of handicrafts" by Helen I. Hwang in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on Charlestown residents Rick and Deb Reis who craft beautiful jewelry and woven baskets that will be featured at the Chester County Craft Guild annual show this weekend in Chester Springs. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here. Information on the show is available here.
J. Leon Altemose - The obituary for Charlestown resident Leon Altemose is in yesterday's The Phoenix and is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here. Two newspaper articles on Mr. Altemose are linked from yesterday's entry below.
The Conservation of Glomar Farm (2nd in a series on Open Space) -
(By Alix Coleman)
It is a rare case when land is ever put together again from the original tracts of land that were created by the first European settlers. Normally land is divided, redivided, and so on. The first bill of sale traced to this property was dated 1785 and described the property as having 105 acres and the sale price was 275 pounds 10 shillings and three pence, in gold and silver money. Since then over the centuries the acreage on this property has been drastically reduced to a shadow of what it was. Normally that would be the end of the story, but in this case there is a sweet twist. Since I have moved here in 1991 there has been a blossoming of "conserved land" (started by the Burgoon Family) that has been put into the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust, that has occurred in the immediate area around this property. Today I am pleased to say that, as of this writing, Glomar Farm has just joined some of her neighbors in being part of a larger concept; to have a cluster of conserved properties together for greater betterment. As for Glomar Farm, I wonder if the original owners Joseph and Rachael Williams who owned this property in 1769 would be pleased to see a rallying of land owners joining the Conservancy in order to preserve what is left of this area. In a spiritual way we are reversing history by putting the land together again that has only been taken apart over the centuries.
EIT Letter from Board of Supervisors - On April 8, the Board of Supervisors sent a letter to all residents of Charlestown Township further explaining the upcoming referendum on the increase in the Earned Income Tax. That letter has been reproduced on this site and is available here.
"J. Leon Altemose, controversial contractor, dies at 68" by Sally Downey and Jane M. Von Bergen in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the life and passing of Charlestown resident J. Leon Altemose. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Controversial developer J. Leon Altemose" by John F. Morrison in today's Philadelphia Daily News also reports on the passing off J. Leon Altemose. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Open Space Referendum - There appears to be a misconception that the Open Space Referendum that will be on the April 22nd ballot for all voters, including independents, is just to approve or disapprove the referendum. In fact, the Board of Supervisors plan to increase the EIT to 1% in 2009, which does not require a ballot referendum. The value of voting YES on the referendum is to ensure that a future Board of Supervisors does not divert EIT funds for purposes other than the preservation of open space, and that the School District cannot impose a similar increase without a referendum.
"Another taxing ballot question" by Anne Pickering in today's Daily Local News reports on the open space referendum on the April 22 ballot. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Charlestown Citizens for Open Space (CCOP) will be sending me frequent facts regarding the value of preserving open space. The first such message follows.
Open Space Referendum Fact -
Why should you vote YES on the Open Space Referendum on April 22?
Saving tax dollars not just in our township but in our schools:
The 820 plus acres that have been preserved since the Earned Income Tax was first established in 2003 has prevented 332 houses from being built. The average single family home in Charlestown has 2.3 children. It costs $17,597 per pupil in the Great Valley School District to educate a child. By saving open space Charlestown has saved the school district $13,437,690 per year. The additional 763 students would have required an additional school to be built with the requisite staffing and maintenance costs.
Charlestown Playhouse Spring Sale - The annual spring sale conducted by the Charlestown Playhouse will be held at the Kimberton Fire Company this year from Friday April 25 to Wednesday April 30. Take-in days are Tuesday and Wednesday April 22 and 23. Complete details are available from the school's web site by clicking here.
"Lyme disease underreported, experts say" by Bonnie McMeans in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the high risk in Chester County for Lyme disease, and singles out Charlestown and our neighboring townships as having the most reported cases last year. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Ballot Referendum - A group of Charlestown residents has formed an organization called "Charlestown Citizens for Open Space". The organization's goal is to educate voters on the value of voting "yes" on the open space referendum that will be on the April 22 ballot. The referendum will increase the earned income tax by 0.5% to continue open space preservation efforts. More important, passing the referendum ensures that the funds will only be used to preserve open space. Our supervisors and our open space director Aliena Gerhard have done a marvelous job with the EIT funds already raised and need the requested, designated funding to continue efforts to save as much of the remaining unprotected "viewshed" properties as they can. David Greer, the chairman of Charlestown Citizens for Open Space, has sent me an open letter to Charlestown voters explaining the group's purpose. The letter is available on-line here as a web page and here as a pdf file.
"Charlestown backs Rails to Trails" by Brian McCarthy in yesterday's The Phoenix reports on our township supervisors support of a local effort to eventually convert the Norfolk-Southern Corp. rail line that passes through our township to a trail, which would link to other regional trail. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Citizens for the Train set to meet" in today's The Phoenix reports on a new group organizing to establish a commuter rail line on the same Norfolk-Southern Corp. rail line discussed in the article above. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Officials approve upgrade to watershed" by Danielle Lynch in today's Daily Local News reports on the vote by the supervisors of West Pikeland Township to support the state's Department of Environmental Protection's possible upgrade of Pickering Creek's status. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Official Minutes of the March 11, 2008 meeting of the Planning Commission have been posted.
Students Seeking Summer Employment - Our page set up for Charlestown Township students seeking summer employment has returned for summer 2008. The page is available here. This page is for Charlestown residents who are high school or college students seeking summer employment. You may post "advertisements" for your services. All I ask is that ONLY Charlestown residents submit ads. Those interested in employing students will contact the student directly using the contact information provided in the student's posting. A sample posting is currently on the page. At a minimum, students should provide the following information using the form available here. -
I will announce additions of students to the page as they are posted, both on the Home page and via our email update service. (Note: I already have one resident looking for a student to employ this coming summer.)
Street Address (only the street name will be posted)
Current school enrollment. (i.e. "freshman at xxx college")
When available to start.
What kind of work is sought.
Contact information: Either e-mail address, phone number or postal address.
Any other information about themselves,
such as qualifications for the type of employment sought.
"Charlestown OKs TND ordinance" by Brian McCarthy in today's The Phoenix reports on passage of the Traditional Neighborhood Development ordinance for the Devault area at last Monday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Official Minutes of the March 4, 2008 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
Earth Day Sign-Up (from Linda Csete) - Just a reminder that it's not to late to sign up for our Roadside Cleanup on Earth Day, April 19th. We meet at the Township office at 9 AM, pick up supplies, and go from there. Continental breakfast will be provided. Please contact the Township Office to sign up if you'd like to join us. (610) 240-0326 or email email@example.com. (NOTE: Complete details on Earth Day Spring Roadside Clean-up in Charlestown Township is available from the Winter Charlestown Township Newsletter, available as a pdf file here. The article on the event is on page 4.)
"Today's visit has GVHS excited" by Danielle Lynch in today's The Phoenix reports on today's visit to the Great Valley High School by presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Emergency communication system is 'Ready' to 'NotifyPA'" by Margaret Gibbons in today's The Mercury reports on an emergency alert system being implemented in southeastern PA. You may select among a variety of emergency situations about which you would like to be notified, and you can select among a variety of communications devices via which you would like to be alerted. The sign up process works very well. You can be alerted via "smartphones", cell phones, and email, using any combination of devices you wish. Go to https://chesco.alertpa.org/ to check it out or sign up. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Butterfly Run - Runners, walkers and classic rock fans will be heading to Great Valley High School on April 12, when the seventh annual Butterfly Run will reward the fleet-footed with cash, and lucky raffle winners with tickets to some of the best concerts of 2008. The Butterfly Run benefits the Elizabeth Ciunci Foundation, created in honor of the Great Valley alum who was killed six months after her 1999 graduation in a car accident with a drunk driver. For more information, see the School Notes section of Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.
"School board debates advocacy program" by Danielle Lynch in the current Suburban Advertiser reports on the Great Valley Middle School Structures Team study about advocacy for students. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Preliminary Agenda for the April 8 meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted.
Open Space Commission Minutes - The Official Minutes of the Open Space Commission for all of 2007 as well as the January 18, 2008 meeting have been posted and are linked from the Open Space Commission page. This page is linked from the "Open Space Commission" icon above as well as from our Official Minutes page and directly by clicking here.
CHS Presentation - Last evening's first spring meeting of the Charlestown Historical Society featured Suzanne Halstead of Historic Yellow Springs who presented a fascinating illustrated history of Yellow Springs (the village area in Chester Springs) from the times of the Lenape Indians through the Revolutionary War, an orphanage for children of the Civil War and through to the 1970's.
During the Society's business meeting, it was reported that only four of the 250 "Charlestown Now and Then Calendars" remain unsold, and over 90 paintings of Charlestown scenes have been offered for the Society's June 8 art show at the Elementary School, with more expected.
The Preliminary Agenda for the April 7 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
Reminder CHS Meeting - The Charlestown Historical Society will meet tonight at 7:30 pm in the Charlestown Elementary School cafeteria. Parking is between the school and the bus garage. Please use door #5 to enter the building and follow the CHS signs to the meeting. The speaker for the meeting will be Suzanne Halstead of Historic Yellow Springs, who will present an illustrated overview of HYS and its activities. Light refreshments will be served, and all are invited to attend.
"Citizens Forum takes on immigration tonight" by Nancy Petersen in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on tonight's Great Valley Citizens Forum at 7:30 and will be held in the Tredyffrin Township Municipal Building, 11 Duportail Rd., Berwyn. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
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